What to send to a person who has everything (within walking distance)
June 15, 2008 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Manhattan care package?

My brother (single, late 20s) just moved to Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. I want to send him a care package. Anyone have any good ideas of what should go in it? I'll be sending baked goods, but any other ideas would be appreciated.
posted by LittleMissCranky to Human Relations (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Get him a New Yorker subscription.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:38 PM on June 15, 2008


Is there an alleged shortage of baked goods here? Unless the aforementioned treats are of a sort that can be procured only in the homeland, then I wouldn't spend postage on that. Send him a framed picture of something from home that means something to him. Or something you (or a family member) made. Or maybe just a Starbucks card.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:42 PM on June 15, 2008


A Not-For-Tourists guide, a Zagats guide, a Metro card, Dr. Schol's pads for his shoes, an umbrella.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:44 PM on June 15, 2008


He can't get MY baked goods in NY, computech...and he is devoted to my cookies. Hence their inclusion.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:47 PM on June 15, 2008


Regional comfort foods. When I moved to NYC, my mom sent me cans of Sweet Sue Chicken and Dumplings and sliced cured country ham, neither of which I have ever seen in Manhattan.
posted by kimdog at 7:47 PM on June 15, 2008


A subscription to Time Out NY.
posted by gaspode at 8:01 PM on June 15, 2008


How about one of those take-out menu organizers filled with menus printed out from MenuPages.com from restaurants in his neighborhood?
posted by zerbinetta at 8:13 PM on June 15, 2008


Oh! Or a book of family/home recipes. You can make one yourself or order one via sites like TasteBook or Blurb
posted by zerbinetta at 8:16 PM on June 15, 2008


An extra umbrella.
posted by mullacc at 9:46 PM on June 15, 2008


Pace picante sauce? If that makes no sense, never mind.
posted by crapmatic at 10:20 PM on June 15, 2008


Seconding Bookhouse's suggestion of a Metro Card (a monthly unlimited will go a loooong way), umbrella, and foot pads. You might also consider getting him a shoulder bag that isn't too bulky but which can still fit clothes or a laptop.

$100 gift certificate/card/account/whatever to SeamlessWeb or Fresh Direct (or possibly Food Emporium if he lives below 96th St. in Manhattan).

I would say don't bother with the tour guides or magazine scrips. He'll find all that stuff out on his own, and half the fun is the finding out.

If this is applicable, instead of a big gift basket arrange for Home Depot or J&R to deliver him a cheap window AC?
posted by greenland at 11:34 PM on June 15, 2008


Can I buy a metro card if I'm not in NYC?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:56 PM on June 15, 2008


An empty box. You see, empty space is at a serious premium in NYC.

Apart from that, not knowing where your homeland is, it is difficult to imagine what is difficult to get in NYC that someone from there would miss. I'm from Michigan, and I occasionally miss Vernor's Ginger Ale, to offer an example (I've been gone from there for nearly 30 years, and still miss it)
posted by Goofyy at 7:13 AM on June 16, 2008


Roach Spray.
posted by jonmc at 8:23 AM on June 16, 2008


Apart from that, not knowing where your homeland is, it is difficult to imagine what is difficult to get in NYC that someone from there would miss.

Yeah; are you all from Houston? What are the local things he loves there? If my sister sent me a care package, I'd want all kinds of exciting New Hampshire things, but that's where I raised. You can easily get a version of pretty much anything in New York, but you can't get the just so versions that you miss from the homeland.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:26 AM on June 16, 2008


Well, I'm in Houston, but we're from Denver and he previously lived in Dallas. I would say most of his strong attachments to local foods/products are really to Denver, which is not any easier for me to get than it is for him.

I love the suggestions...keep them coming if you got them!
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:22 AM on June 16, 2008


I'll second TimeOut and NewYorker subscriptions. Also seconding FreshDirect card. Getting groceries in New York is a serious pain. Depending on where you live you have to get them delivered. The shoe soles are a good idea too.

Some kind of sturdy bike-delivery bag or backpack would be much appreciated. Maybe a picnic blanket for Central Park.
posted by xammerboy at 9:23 AM on June 16, 2008


I would choose New Yorker or New York Magazine over Time Out New York. Reading Time Out New York is a pain because they use cheap newsprint for their pages.

For menus, I actually wouldn't print out delivery menus to put in a menus-folder. The folder itself is a neat idea, but it's often faster just to go to Menu Pages' web site, and menus get out of date quickly (especially with rising prices).

FreshDirect is a fabulous idea. I might try to arrange a DeliveryPass for him. It's $100 for unlimited deliveries (assuming he would use them frequently). Make sure they deliver to his area. I don't see anything about gift cards on their site, so I'd call. 866-511-1240. Other grocery related items might be a sturdy tote bag (reusable) or a folding cart.

The Not for Tourists guide is also a great idea. Be forewarned that they put it out yearly, so he'll only get 6-8 months use out of it. But I carried mine everywhere I went my first 3 years in the city. (Having an iPhone helps, too).

And the foot comfort items are very good ideas, too: good socks, waterproof band-aids, Blister Block/anti-chafing stick, shoe insoles (the really nice kind, not the Dr. Scholl's, maybe SuperFeet). On a related note, a gift certificate to a spa (one of those manly spas) may help -- he can get a pedicure and a massage to help the poor aching feet.

For an umbrella, if he isn't prone to losing items, a heavy duty umbrella like a Davek is priceless in a heavy storm. The $8.99 Duane Reade umbrella folds like paper when it's windy out.

I might also include a gift certificate to a nicer group of restaurants (like Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality group - it is good at all his restaurants), so he can treat himself once in a while.

I also like the window AC unit idea. However, it will be difficult to purchase one on his behalf without knowing his apartment dimensions and the window dimensions. Paying for installation from a PC Richards is a nice thought, though.

The Metrocard is a nice idea but I don't believe you can buy it online. Where to Buy the Metrocard. If he wants to get out of the city in the future, consider a Zipcar membership.

Instead, I might recommend a compass to help him figure out what direction to go in after he goes off the train (this is surprisingly confusing sometimes).
posted by kathryn at 12:18 PM on June 16, 2008


One more thing I forgot to mention, I find an online subscription to Zagat.com much more useful than the physical book.
posted by kathryn at 12:18 PM on June 16, 2008


For menus, I actually wouldn't print out delivery menus to put in a menus-folder. The folder itself is a neat idea, but it's often faster just to go to Menu Pages' web site, and menus get out of date quickly (especially with rising prices).

Well, it's really meant to be a start. The binder itself can be filled with whatever menus he picks up himself from around his neighborhood. Way to piss on my gift idea. (Kidding.)
posted by zerbinetta at 11:11 AM on June 17, 2008


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